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Himalaya Trek And Nepalese Immersion Teen Volunteer Program

Volunteer on construction projects and embark on an adventure trip on this under 18 project in Nepal

Program Information

Join a team of international under 18 volunteers in astonishing Nepal where you will assist with the construction of essential infrastructure, improving the lives and opportunities of local communities. Immerse yourself in the fascinating Nepali culture and explore sites including the Annapurna mountain range, with the tallest peaks in the world.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals


This project has been specially designed for those looking to volunteer, but are aged between 15 and 17 years old. Throughout this project, our younger volunteers will have greater supervision, training, and world-class leaders in the field who have been chosen for their mix of relevant experience and ability to mentor and inspire young people.

The project

Travel to Nepal, a stunning and mountainous landlocked country, home to an astonishing eight of the ten highest peaks in the world making this volunteer trip something truly unique.

Following the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, our projects adjusted focus to provide disaster relief to those in need. In conjunction with our partners, trucks of supplies and family care packages were taken to some of the most affected areas. Now our projects are focused on initiatives within our local communities, who have needs around education and improving educational facilities.

As with many of our construction projects, what you will work on is determined by the needs and requirements of our local partner communities, but will involve either building water tanks for drinking water, improving sanitation facilities or renovating schools to provide healthier learning environments.

Through your contribution and our relationships with local communities, you can be sure that your efforts are being channelled in the correct ways to meet overall aims and goals.

Please note that this program offers durations of 2 to 4 weeks. Please speak to your Country Expert for further information.

Highlight include...

Being immersed in the Nepali culture; learning about the fascinating language and culture; witness firsthand the world’s tallest mountain range, a truly stunning site; make a difference even in the short term; overall, participate in a truly unique volunteer holiday that makes a genuine difference, and top it all off with a 4-day tour and trek that take you in and around the Annapurna mountain range, consisting of some of the world’s tallest climbs.

Program Details

Program Type: Under 18
Location: Asia - Nepal - Pokhara

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Project Life


Your two or three week cultural adventure in Nepal begins when you are picked up from Kathmandu (Tribhuvan International) airport and taken to a hostel in nearby Thamel for the night. During a traditional Nepali dinner, there will be a presentation introducing you to GVI’s work in Nepal and around the rest of the world. The next day will see us taking a short domestic flight to Pokhara, followed by a short bus journey to your new home for the next couple of weeks.

Upon arrival there will be a welcome presentation and introduction, a history and background of the projects and a health and safety debriefing. After lunch, you will be given a guided tour and orientation around the community, learning more about the local culture and language.

The Work Begins…
Your construction project kicks off the next day when we arrive at the project site for an orientation to the location, community and project work. Volunteers will then be organised into various task groups and given goals to be achieved by the end of the two weeks. After a quick lunch, the hard work will begin!

As with many of our construction projects, the exact work will depend on the needs and requirements of our partners at the time, but volunteers can typically expect to be involved in either building water tanks for drinking water, improving sanitation facilities, renovating schools or painting and brightening up the classrooms with murals or other artwork.

Over the next couple of days your group will be hard to work, keeping to tight deadlines in order to meet your project goals. By the end of your project, your last day on the site will see you putting the finishing touches to your project and presenting your lasting contribution to our partners and the children.

Cultural Weekend and Adventure Side Trip

As your final week in Nepal looms closer and with your volunteer work completed, it is now time to appreciate the rich cultural history and diversity the region has to offer. Over the course of our cultural weekend, you will take part in an array of activities, ranging from visiting beautiful temples, exploring local customs, appreciating the amazing architecture, visiting bazaars and markets, and most importantly, meeting local people and learning about the traditions and history of Nepal.

Prepare to trek to your heart’s content!
The last leg of your journey in Nepal begins with a hearty breakfast before we head off to begin your week long trekking adventure! The trail will lead us away from the bustle of urbanization and up into the foothills of the picturesque Annapurna mountain range. The higher we climb, the more spectacular the sights will get, with views all the way down to Rupatal Lake, and all the way up to Machhapuchare and the entire Annapurna range. We will spend the night in the charming village of Chisapani, home to a tiny Buddhist monastery.

The next day we continue our trek, with the mighty Annapurna II, Manaslu and Lumjung looming near. If you aren’t an experienced hiker, don’t worry, the tracks are relatively easy and the views more than make up for the occasional tough spots. The end of day two will bring us to the quaint village of Lipiyani, where we will spend the night and prepare for an early start the following morning.

An incredible view of watching the sun rising in the east awaits us as we begin the final two days of our journey. After a quick breakfast, we will begin our descent to reach the area between Rupa and Begnas Lake. As we trek down, we will make our way through rice paddies and pause for lunch at the village of Sundaridada where we will re-join our transport and make our way back to Pokhara.

On your last day in Pokhara, we will sit down and reflect on the trip, the impact you have made and review your experiences as you prepare to say your final goodbyes. After some last minute shopping and a departure dinner, you will be dropped off at the airport to make your way home with a camera full of amazing pictures, new friends and a myriad of new experiences.

Project Details

Your support and presence is vital to the continued improvement of basic standards of health and hygiene, and in the improvement of educational facilities.

As a volunteer you will be expected to serve as a community role model, promoting respect for Nepal’s heritage and environment.

Our goal is to transfer new skills and develop a foundation to improve the lives of the Nepalese people by providing volunteers to support in various construction projects through the community.

How this project makes a difference:

Nepal is a landlocked and developing nation, and its people suffer from a lack of hygiene, education and skilled labour with more than one third of the population living below the poverty line. By working to improve many basic issues you are helping to improve the lives and opportunities of the local communities with which we work.

Nepal's short, mid, and long-term objectives

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Nepal:

1. Support students to reach learning goals appropriate to their Age (under 5s) Grade level (5-18 year olds) or Individual Need (students with Special Needs)

2.Support students to expand their English vocabulary

3. Increase the knowedge and understanding of Healthcare in the community with an emphasis on prevention

4. Develop the skills of women in the community in order to improve their potential to generate income or to become more self sufficient

5. Support the local community with improved facilities with an emphasis on educational and health and safety needs

6. To minimize our environmental impact in Lakeside and raise awareness of environmental issues amongst volunteers and the students with whom we work

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.

Our 10 Ethical Commitments


Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conduct, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.

Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.

However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.

What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Adventure and cultural activities
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Dedicated GVI leaders
  • Extensive pre-departure service including packing lists, fundraising advice, advice on travel arrangements, a thorough pre-departure orientationAdventure and cultural activities
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs


Although this trip follows a structured itinerary, don’t think you won’t be seeing and doing some amazing things! You’ll embark on both a cultural weekend and a four day adventure side trip of awesomeness to discover all the amazing sights the region has to offer!

The Team

Shayle Havemann

Director of Programs
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven director for all our projects around the world. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.

When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!

Binita Gurung

Field Staff
Meet Binita, one of our lovely field staff members working on our childcare projects in Pokhara, Nepal. Before joining GVI, this Nepalese music lover helped struggling students in Kathmandu with their studies and decided that she wanted to help more.

Binita is passionate about her job at GVI and how she has been able to make a difference in the lives of others. She is enthusiastic about motivating the local local staff and helping them to learn new ideas. “My main highlight would be meeting the volunteers from around the world and sharing my country with them.” She loves welcoming new volunteers and appreciates all the fresh ideas that they bring to the project.

Her most memorable travel experience was when she travelled to Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini, Nepal, to visit the different temples and to learn more about her religion. Binita’s proudest accomplishment since working with GVI was seeing the children become more confident in their English and achieving higher grades. She is not all work and no play; she can make 15 momos (steamed dumplings) in a minute!

Jill Walker

Assistant Director of Programs
Meet Jill, our Assistant Director of Programs and line manager for Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal, Australia and Kenya programs. ‘Manow’ (lime), as she’s locally known in Thailand where she's based, taught English, environmental education and art in the USA and Thailand before joining us to set up a TEFL and Community Development Expedition. “I haven’t looked back since!”

When Jill isn’t working, she likes reading or doing just about anything energetic. “I devour books, love cooking and enjoy finding some time to get some exercise – yoga, dancing and aerobics are some of my faves.”

What does Jill like most about her job? “It’s great to see volunteers rising above the cultural and language barriers between themselves and the communities. That, and every day is completely different, which is the way I like it- it keeps me from getting bored.” Being ‘allergic’ to being bored has led to Manow doing some pretty amazing things. “I once ended up spending a week living in a cave with some Buddhist monks while I helped them build a small adobe monk hut.”

Lok Bahadur Gurung

Community Liason
Meet Lok, our Community Liason in Pokhara. Lok is bona fide Nepalese and worked as a kayaking instructor prior to joining GVI.

Being the Community Liason, Lok is involved in all projects we have based in Pokhara. His favourite aspect of his job? Working with the volunteers. “I get to meet amazing people from around the world and I love getting to know them. I feel that not only the volunteers, but myself as well gain a great cultural exchange.”

How do the volunteers assist Lok in his work on the projects? “They’re great at helping the kids gain the confidence to speak English and thereby improve their chances at a better future. Thanks to the volunteers, over 400 children now have access to a healthier learning environment!”

Cheryl Martin

Project Manager
Meet Cheryl, our Base Manager in Nepal. A former teacher, headmaster and special needs educator, she was the first volunteer on our ‘Grade R’ project in Cape Town, and was exactly who we needed.

Cheryl’s main highlight since being involved with GVI? “When we first started 'book-time' at the educare centre, the children didn’t really appreciate books and stories. We were pretty persistent and the children now easily sit and enjoy a book for almost an hour, even the toddlers! It’s led to such a great improvement in their language skills, attention span and ability to learn. I’m also really proud of the work we have done concerning protecting children’s rights, especially in social media. We’ve set a really good standard.”

What does Cheryl think volunteers bring to the project? “The volunteers never cease to amaze me with their skills and talents! It’s so important to use these talents as best we can. These things have made a difference to the teacher’s ability to provide a program, and therefore, to the children’s ability to learn.

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  • 2019

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